November to April
El Chaltén is half an hour away from the trailhead
Strap on your crampons and explore the best parts of Patagonia
Los Glaciares National Park offers plenty of amazing trails, but Huemul Circuit definitely has the best panoramas and most impressive natural wonders in Patagonia! Icebergs, lakes, valleys and glaciers will leave you breathless, while the terrain will leave you with a sense of adventure and challenge. Let your guide show you all the best camping spots and the basics of mountaineering with crampons. Crevasses and the surrounding ice will get your heart racing, but the vistas from Paso del Viento will definitely make it all worth it! Are you ready to feast your eyes on the beauty of Patagonia?
Book This Adventure
Hiking Huemul Circuit and Ice Trek in El Chaltén
During this 5-day adventure, you will explore the Patagnoian steppe, lagoons, and many glaciers, icebergs and valleys. Be amazed by the impressive Paso del Viento and enjoy the panoramic view over the Southern Patagonian Icefield. With almost 3000 meters of elevation gain, this exciting and aesthetically pleasing trip is ideal for intermediate hikers. Let your guide show you the best places in Patagonia and enjoy the fresh Argentinian air. Trust us — you will want to come back again!
Patagonia offers so many fantastic locations for hiking enthusiasts! The impressive Huemul Circuit and its even more impressive panoramic views will leave you amazed, while the hike itself will test your skills and endurance. Discover the best locations El Chaltén has to offer and enjoy the fresh alpine air, while the towering peaks, vast valleys, and tumbling glaciers take your breath away. This iconic hiking adventure in Los Glaciares National Park is definitely worth the trip, as there is not much that can measure up to the natural wonders of South Patagonia!
Day One: El Chalten (450m) to Laguna Toro (650m)
Elevation gain: +500m / -700m
You will start your adventure from El Chaltén, walking from the hotel straight into nature. Your group will take the trail to Laguna Toro and walk between 6 and 8 hours, where you’ll wade through some streams surrounded by amazing views of the impressive Fitz Roy Massif as you walk up the hill and down to the Toro Valley.
Day Two: Laguna Toro (650 m) to Túnel Glacier to Campamento Pampeanos
Distance: 5 km
After waking up and enjoying breakfast, you will start off the day by crossing a fixed line to get to the other side of Rio Túnel and then hike towards Túnel Inferior Glacier. While admiring the amazing views of Grande and Solo Mountains you will spend hours walking through ice with crampons, exploring crevasses and seracs. If the weather allows, you will move camp further to Pampeanos, a small campsite nearer to your goal for the next day — Paso del Viento.
Day Three: Laguna Toro (650 m) to Paso del Viento Refugio (915 m)
Distance: 11 km
Elevation gain: +1000 m / -650 m
You will spend your third day hiking up to Paso del Viento (‘the Windy Pass’), the highest point from which you can see part of the Southern Patagonian Icefield. This day is full of beautiful glaciers and fun terrain leading up to the next camping spot placed next to a small lagoon and a tiny hut.
Day Four: Paso del Viento Refugio (915 m) to Témpanos Bay (250 m)
Distance: 13 km
Elevation gain: +550 m / -1200 m
On your fourth day you’ll trek through another pass. Traversing further along with Viedma Glacier by your side, you’ll ascend up to “Huemul pass”, the last amazing viewpoint of the icefield. From there you´ll descend a steep slope to Bahía Témpanos (meaning ‘the Icebergs Bay’), and as soon as you reach the views, you will understand the name. The bay is filled with all the icebergs from the Viedma Glacier terminal face pushed by the wind. If adventurous enough, you can even have a cold bath as soon as you reach this incredible camping spot!
Day Five: Témpanos Bay (250 m) to Bahía Túnel (270 m)
Distance: 15 km
Elevation gain: +500 m / -500 m
On your last day, you can wake up earlier to see a beautiful sunrise and walk back to El Chaltén through the steppe, the main landscape that covers most of Patagonia. Here you can find orchids and enjoy some breathtaking views of both Viedma Glacier and Lake. Before reaching the end of your trail, you will cross a fixed line across Toro River. An exciting way to finish the trip, you have to admit!
Massif trek and Huemul Circuit give a complete panorama of the massif from north to south. Make the most of your trip by combining all of them! If this interests you, let us know and we will have the guide create a custom itinerary for you!
Things you need to know
Covid measures in El Chaltén
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in El Chaltén, please refer to Argentina Travel.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What you get on this adventure:
- Certified Mountain Guide
- Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
- Shuttle back to El Chaltén
- Harnesses and technical gear for the fixed lines
- Personal accident insurance for every client
- Personal gear: tent, sleeping bags, trekking poles, helmets, etc.
- Travel insurance
What can I expect from hiking with a guide?
Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Patagonia’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will transport you to and from the destination. Also, your guide will know just what to do if the weather takes a turn or something unexpected happens.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Sleeping bag
- Hiking boots
- Trekking poles
- Gloves and hat
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood and pants (Gore-Tex recommended overall)
- Down jacket or vest (synthetic puffy jackets work better in wet environments such as Patagonia)
- Synthetic or wool base layers, underwear and socks
- Waterproof layers (both jacket and pants)
- Spare clothes
- Water shoes (Crocs are ok if with a heel strap)
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
- Water bottle
- Mattress (inflatable or not)
- Toiletries (sunscreen, first aid kit, toilet paper, etc.)
- High-quality sunglasses
- Head lantern
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Can I rent equipment?
All mandatory gear can be rented if you don’t have your own. You can rent:
Rental locations are in El Chaltén and should be picked up the night prior to your outing. If you need to rent gear, let us know and we can help make arrangements.
How fit do I need to be?
You need to be able to hike for full days, carrying a full backpack. Each day you will hike between 5-15 kilometers. This is a technical ascent and the group will need crampons, helmets and guide ́s assistance for easy glacier traveling and walking on rocky terrain and slabs. The terrain can be challenging and the weather can change. That said, if you are looking for adventure and up to the task of five full days of hiking, you’ll be rewarded immensely!
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join the tour on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about group sizes and pricing?
For this adventure, the max client to guide ratio is 4:1 and pricing is per person.
Hiking in El Chaltén can be arranged for larger groups, up to 8 people per group (1 Mountain Guide for every 4 people). The minimum number of people per group is 2. Contact us to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions, but Los Glaciares National Park is prone to temperature and weather changes, so you need to be prepared with the right gear. Make sure to always have a rain jacket with you. The mountains are a beautiful place to be even when it rains and wet weather can add a very unique aspect to the whole experience
When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Strict Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
El Chaltén is located in the middle of Los Glaciares National Park. Most people fly from Buenos Aires to International Airport El Cafete Armando Tola in southern Patagonia. From there, you can take a three-hour bus to El Chaltén. You can also reach El Chaltén from Bariloche along Ruta 40.
Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, mostly like your hotel accommodation. From there, you’ll start the trekking from the town of El Chalté, walking from the hotel straight into nature.